The colt may now be led out and longed with the saddle on, after which he may traverse roads. Another lesson on the same day may be with stirrups attached to the saddle, and even extra straps, with a horse blanket rolled up and tied on the top, while a piece of cloth may be attached to the crupper at each side, to accustom him to things dangling about him, With these, he should be walked, trotted, and cantered on the longe until quite settled to them.
In one or two days he should be mounted; but before this is attempted, he must be well longed with the saddle and its appendages on; after which he is taken back to his box, if large enough, or to a shed or other convenient quiet place. A martingale is sometimes put on, but this is sometimes in the way if the animal fights with its fore-feet, and even the reins are sometimes so. What is called a "French" or "Dutch Martingale" is very effective in keeping the reins out of the way, and steadying the colt's head without constraining it. It is merely two rings in one piece - two rings joined together - through which the reins pass. To put these through, they are unbuckled in the middle, each is passed through a ring, and they are then buckled again over the withers, when the martingale will be between the colt's chin and breast.
Not only is the ordinary martingale in the way, but it is often used to give the trainer a good purchase and enable him to hold on. This is most objectionable, as a man who requires such assistance is certain to give the colt a hard mouth. There ought to be very little, if any, pressure on the reins, for light hands are all-important in mounting a young horse.
If the colt is pretty steady and quiet, he can be mounted without much trouble. The girths should be moderately tight, all straps and buckles secure, and the crupper easy. The reins are then gathered in the left hand, the trainer's left side placed to the colt's left shoulder; his left foot is then quietly raised into the stirrup two or three times, each time a little more weight being placed in it; when, if the animal takes kindly to this, the body may be raised in the stirrup, both legs being off the ground, and the animal being talked to softly and soothingly. After standing in the stirrup for a second or two, the trainer descends, and again ascends until the colt is used to this movement and the weight, when the right leg can be thrown gently over, taking care not to touch the back, the weight being supported by the right hand, which grasps the pommel of the saddle; the right leg is then lowered into its proper position without touching the side until seated in the saddle, and the foot placed in the stirrup. The rider now sits motionless, except to pat the animal's neck and caress him, speaking to him kindly and pleasing him. No attempt should be made to make him move. After a few minutes' seat, the rider dismounts as quietly and methodically as he mounted - releasing the right foot from the stirrup, bringing the right leg over the back, halting a few seconds in the left stirrup, patting and speaking to the colt, and then descending.
This should be repeated a few times; then the animal is brought out of doors to the longeing ground, and mounted in the same quiet way, though on no account should he be urged forward. Contending with him at this period is by all means to be avoided. If he chooses to move at a walk and in a circle - as he has been accustomed to do at this place, good and well; he must not be checked for a time, but gradually brought to feel one or other rein, so as to be induced to go at last where it is desired. There must be no pulling or jerking at his mouth, nor urging with the legs. An hour or two of this - according to his temper and will - will suffice; then he is taken to his box, caressed and fed, and the lesson repeated again in the afternoon.
Riding the colt twice a day for three or four days in this way, in a field, is the best training, and it is better, at first, not to take him from home or his associations. If at any time during these early days he becomes refractory and unpersuadable, he must not be fought with; it is better to dismount from him, and longe him in a circle or lead him for a time, and then mount and try him again. He is like a child, and must be humoured at first and taught as children are, by degrees. Obedience is the thing to be taught, and this is better inculcated by kindness and firmness than by bullying and beating, which in nearly all cases produce confusion, stupidity, stubbornness or vice. Intelligence can be largely cultivated in horses, by teaching them under favourable conditions; these conditions rest with the trainer, as much as does the production of a good light mouth. To do things well, the colt must understand how and when to do them. To punish him for not doing them, when he has not been properly taught, or if so, has not been informed when or where to do them, is stupid and cruel.
When accustomed to the guidance of the reins, the leg should be brought into play for a similar purpose, and then the colt may be ridden on public roads, in which there should be plenty of room, in case of his shying or proving unsteady if he chances to see or meet with strange objects. Timidity and shying are best met with kindness - speaking soothingly and patting. If inanimate objects scare him, he must be made to know, by looking and smelling at them, that they are harmless. It may happen that at this advanced stage, some colts may, on occasions, endeavour to obtain the mastery, and gentle persuasion will not overcome them and render them obedient. If punishment is necessary (here the trainer's judgment comes in), and whip and spur must be used, then they should he well applied and at once, as man must be the master. Only, the colt should understand what he is punished for, and acknowledge his mistake by rendering ready obedience afterwards.
After a fortnight or three weeks, an ordinary plain snaffle bit may be substituted for the breaking or mouthing bit, and then the paces can be taught.